Wednesday, April 24, 2013
A reduced visitation schedule at the county jail has slowed things down for the attorneys representing a Frankfort lawyer charged with trying to put a hit on his wife.
A reduction in visiting hours at the Will County jail has slowed things down for the attorneys representing a Frankfort lawyer charged with trying to put a hit on his wife. "It's a little hard to get in there right now," attorney Steve Whitmore told Judge Daniel Rozak during a Wednesday morning hearing. Whitmore said he needs to interview witnesses locked up in the jail in order to prepare for the defense of Robert Gold-Smith, a 50-year-old lawyer charged with asking a fellow inmate at the county jail to kill his wife. According to court papers, Gold-Smith discussed paying for the murder of his wife with at least five inmates during his time in the county jail. Gold-Smith ended up in jail with the men he allegedly talked to about killing …
Saturday, April 20, 2013
A former Plainfield North gym teacher pleaded guilty to meeting a teen for sex. And that was just one of the things going on in court this week.
More than two years after the police caught her in a car with a half-dressed student from the high school where she was a teacher, Ashley Blumenshine copped a plea. Blumenshine, a 30-year-old former Plainfield North gym teacher, will have to do 11 days in jail. She will also spend two years on sex offender probation and 10 yeas on the Illinois sex offender registry. She tearfully apologized before she was taken into custody to start doing her time. Let's look at what else was going on in the area's courthouses this past week: Check out all these stories and more on our Facebook page.
Friday, April 19, 2013
A psychiatric evaluation of a former Lincoln-Way Central teacher charged with threatening district officials will be available for his hearing on whether he is fit to stand trial.
A Will County judge scheduled a fitness hearing for a former Lincoln-Way Central High School teacher charged with threatening school district officials. Judge Edward Burmila set an April 29 date for arguments on whether jailed former teacher Ryan Gardner, 41, was legally sane when he allegedly made threatening statements. Gardner, most recently a resident of downstate Danville, has been jailed since Jan. 16 on a felony charge of making a telephone threat. Prior to his being processed at the Will County jail, Gardner was receiving psychiatric care at University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago. He had checked himself into the hospital voluntarily. Gardner was hit with the felony charge after he allegedly made a Dec. 6 telephone call to …
Thursday, April 18, 2013
A New Lenox man charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse and indecent solicitation of an adult while he was working at Bremen High School was back in court.
A former Bremen High School basketball coach and substitute teacher charged with groping one teen and trying to set up a three-way with two others appeared in court Thursday and was told to return next month. The attorney for 27-year-old Ross Larson, Tom O'Brien, said during the brief hearing that Larson will waive his right to a jury and leave it to Cook County Judge Luciano Panici to decide his fate at trial. Larson, a New Lenox resident, allegedly developed a relationship with a teenage girl he met at a Bremen High football game in autumn 2010. He and the 17-year-old exchanged Facebook and text messages, and eventually shared naked pictures, police said. In November 2010, Larson kept the teen after class to do some cleaning, according …
Friday, April 12, 2013
A man facing murder charges in connection with his uncle's death can act as his own attorney when he goes to trial.
A man charged with murdering his uncle more than three and a half years ago got a July trial date during a Friday morning hearing. And when 27-year-old Jason Gonzalez does go to trial, he can act as his own attorney. Gonzalez, who was stationed in Guantanamo Bay during his eight months in the Army in 2005 and 2006, has been representing himself during pretrial matters and plans to continue to do so at his trial. Judge Edward Burmila said a public defender will still be present during the trial, as one has been at pretrial hearings. Gonzalez has been jailed since September 2009 on charges he murdered his uncle Lance Goebel. Gonzalez allegedly shot Goebel numerous times with a 9-mm handgun, then stole $1,000 and his uncle's Chevy HHR. The …
Saturday, April 6, 2013
A New Lenox man spoke of his "horrific" ordeal in the county jail after he was arrested for a murder someone else was wanted for.
We started the week off by talking with the New Lenox man jailed for two weeks for a murder allegedly committed by someone else with the same name. Pedro Hernandez, 67, said his time in the Will County jail was "horrific," and that he's looking for a lawyer to talk to about filing a lawsuit. But Hernandez's ordeal was just one of the things going on last week. There was also: Check out all these stories and more on our Facebook page.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
A New Lenox resident is being held on a 35-year-old murder charge in connection with a Joliet case, but police and prosecutors are trying to figure out if he's the right guy.
A New Lenox man is being held at the Will County jail in connection with a 1978 Joliet murder, but police and prosecutors are still trying to determine whether they have their man. Pedro Hernandez was taken into custody by the New Lenox police following a March 14 crash. He was charged with driving under the influence, and when officers ran his name and identifiers, discovered someone matching his description was wanted on a warrant charging him with a 35-year-old Joliet murder. The Pedro Hernandez wanted for stabbing a man in the chest on April 2, 1978, is 66. The Pedro Hernandez arrested after the crash claims to be 67. The criminal complaint on file at the Will County Courthouse identifies the victim as Julian Bresino. The Crime …
An email from the state's attorney's office to the judge in the New Lenox coma puncher case is enough to get the convicted man a new trial, according to court papers filed by defense lawyers.
On the day a New Lenox man was to be sentenced for punching another man into a coma outside a Mokena bar, the judge announced she received an email from the prosecutor's office. Even though Will County Judge Sarah Jones didn't read the email, lawyers for convicted coma-puncher Joseph Messina say that just the fact she got it means she should start a whole new trial and leave it to another judge to decide the case. Messina, 24, was found guilty in January of punching 29-year-old Eric Bartels of Joliet outside the Mokena bar 191 South in July 2009. The attack left Bartels in a coma. Messina was set to be sentenced March 6 but his attorneys, Dave Carlson and Ken Zelazo, instead argued for a new trial based on a lack of evidence, among other …
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
A man claims he suffered "severe and permanent injuries" while taking care of a woman's cat.
A "vicious" cat so grievously wounded a Homer Glen man that he is suing its owner for at least $100,000. The suit, filed at the Will County Courthouse on behalf of William Baxter, claims the cat's owner, Christine Bobak, "should have known (her) cat had vicious propensities in that, upon information and belief, the cat had attacked at least one other person on at least one prior occasion." But whether Bobak or Baxter knew the cat was vicious or not, Baxter ended up taking care of the animal in April 2011, the suit said, and that was when the cat "without provocation, viciously attacked, bit and clawed" Baxter. The suit did not make clear whether Bobak's pet was just some run-of-the-mill house cat or something more considerable and exotic, …
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The three and a half year old case will be addressed again next week.
A man charged with gunning down his uncle in the New Lenox Township home where he had allowed him to live appeared for a brief hearing at the Will County Courthouse Wednesday. Jason Gonzalez, 26, represented himself in the proceedings before Judge Edward Burmila. Gonzalez has been acting as his own attorney. Gonzalez has been jailed since September 2009 on charges he murdered his uncle Lance Goebel. Gonzalez allegedly shot Goebel numerous times with a 9-mm handgun, then stole $1,000 and his uncle's Chevy HHR. The vehicle was later located about a mile from Goebel's residence. Goebel's wife found her husband dead in the home. Several days later, the police caught Gonzalez sleeping in his mother's 1997 Saturn, which he reportedly borrowed …